In 1986, representatives of five campus cooperative gathered with representatives of the National Cooperative Business Association, the North American Students of Cooperation, and the National Cooperative Bank Development Corporation to discuss campus cooperative development. The purpose of the gathering was to analyze past efforts at campus co-op development, the current atmosphere and potential for development, and to devise a plan, if possible, for further expansion of the campus cooperative movement. Participants concluded that a concerted effort by existing cooperative groups and campus co-ops could successfully foster co-op expansion. In this way the Campus Cooperative Development Corporation (CCDC) was organized with the mandate to assist cooperative development in any way feasible, using organizational support by NASCO and NCBA and tapping the resources of existing group equity cooperatives.
And so, starting in1987, each of the founding cooperatives committed funds for staffing and program costs through a small tax on their memberships. The late 1980s saw this effort take shape, when the staff of this organization assisted in saving the House of Commons, a student housing co-op in Austin, Texas. In addition, NASCO Development Services assisted on group equity cooperative development projects in Chicago, Eugene, and Athens, and in the creation of the Kagawa revolving loan fund to finance co-op development.
NASCO Development - West Coast
In the early 1990s saw the base of financial support for NASCO Development expand. NDS opened a second office in California to focus on West Coast development issues, and Congressional lobbying came frustratingly close to obtaining $10 million for campus cooperative development. Although the Congressional effort ultimately fell short, NASCO Development was successful in completing development projects in Santa Cruz (two houses), Santa Barbara (two houses), Athens, Ohio, and Chicago.
Demand for Services Grow
NASCO Development Services also established itself as a focal point for information on developing campus co-ops, providing advice and information to organizing groups across the continent, as well as to existing cooperative organizations in both the United States and Canada. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, NASCO Development supported the expansion of NASCO Properties (Masala in Boulder, Concord in Chicago, two COUCH houses in Urbana, and Nickel City in Buffalo), as well as assisting with the development of a number of small community co-ops (DeCleyre in Memphis, CoLibri in St. Louis, Stone Soup in Chicago, WACH in Detroit, and Weaver Community Housing Association in Carrboro, NC).
In 2003-04, NASCO Development Services began working with refinancing as well as new development. This was particularly important for NASCO Properties, which regularly refinances its loans. Other independent co-ops, such as DeCleyre in Memphis and Sherwood in Seattle also were able to benefit from this service.
The success of NASCO Developments Services has led to the reputation of campus cooperatives as the most aggressive supporters of development in the North American cooperative movement.